Employment-Intensive Investment in Egypt

Web page | 07 February 2017

Current EIIP Involvement

EIIP has currently no activities in Egypt.

Historical Information 

The Eighth Regional Seminar for Labour-based Practitioners took place over a five-day period in October 2000, in Cairo, Egypt. It was hosted and organised by the Egyptian Social Fund for Development (SFD), in collaboration with the ILO’s Advisory Support, Information Services, and Training Programme in Africa (ASIST).

From 2008 to 2009, as a response to the global economic and financial crisis, the Egyptian government implemented a fiscal stimulus package designed to build public utilities infrastructure, particularly water and sewage projects, as well as roads, bridges, schools and basic health care centres. It intended to limit the possible adverse repercussions of the global financial crisis on the Egyptian economy and maintain the sustainability of development programmes by increasing employment rates and reducing the threat of a decline in the rate of economic growth. EIIP worked together with the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) to conduct a study evaluating the impact of infrastructure investment on employment undertaken by the Egyptian government during the economic and financial crisis. A report was prepared estimating the direct, indirect and induced employment effects.

After the January 2011 revolution, the lack of decent jobs, mainly for youth, led to the prioritisation or scaling up of selected intervention activities to promote employment. The social turmoil and economic slowdown in Egypt led to the implementation of a new stimulus package in order to overcome the worsening socio-economic situation. In this context, the Ministry of Planning approached the ILO to conduct an employment impact assessment of the Urgent Plan to activate the Egyptian economy in 2013–2014.

The ILO was also asked to join the World Bank (WB) in responding to a request by the Minister of Finance for their support to develop a large-scale Public Works Programme (PWP). A joint ILO/WB mission in March 2011 met with relevant line Ministries, public agencies, and other development partners including the SFD. The use of appropriate labour-based technology through small and medium enterprises and/or community-based development approaches was examined and training needs were assessed. The main objectives of the PWP was to increase the number of job opportunities for the poor strata of the Egyptian population and to create and maintain social and economic assets at the local level. A programme was developed and the WB approved a loan in the amount of US$200 million for the “Emergency Labour Intensive Investment Project” in response to the events in Egypt that resulted in a decline in economic activities leading to increased unemployment, aggravated by a return from Egyptian migrants. The project is being implemented by the SFD. It increases employment through labour-intensive works implemented at governorate and community level targeted using different criteria (unemployment, poverty and areas affected by specific crises). The strategy is to respond to local priority investments using a participatory approach and to finance maintenance activities. A youth component has been added on request of the Government. The project ends in 2017 but negotiations are ongoing for a second phase.

A joint study was undertaken by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the ILO in 2014 aiming to provide a set of practical recommendations as to how EIB in consultation with its partner countries could optimize the employment impact of infrastructure projects both in terms of quantity and quality of jobs created. The study focussed on infrastructure development in four Mediterranean Partner Countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In Egypt, the study focused on the sectors of energy and environment. In the environment sector, the Egyptian Pollution Abatement Project II was studied, while in the energy sector, the study examined the Giza North Power Generation Plant project and Egyptian Power Transmission Project.